Can I repair a leaking aquarium without removing all the water and fish?

  • If my aquarium begins to leak, I know I could repair it by removing everything, applying silicone (or another sealant), waiting for it to cure, and then starting over.

    If the leakage is at the top of the aquarium, can I drain just enough water to repair it, then re-fill after the sealant is cured?

    Should I use regular silicone for this "hot" repair, or might it harm the fish?

  • Baarn

    Baarn Correct answer

    8 years ago

    Silicone itself is harmless, as it is nontoxic, non-organic and pretty much unreactive.

    During the hardening process silicone sealant will produce acetic acid, this causes the stench that smells like vinegar. Depending on the amount of silicone, you should not need to worry about some of that acid contacting your water (if you spill something), the amount should be too minimal to have an influence on your aquariums pH.

    Some silicone sealants intended for use in bathrooms (or similar) might contain fungicides which may negatively affect your aquariums life.

    Disclaimer: I have not tried to do this before, but everything I knew about silicone sealant told me that this would be safe and a quick search on Wikipedia confirmed my thoughts.

    It doesn't work. The new silicon won't stick well to wet surfaces and will not stick to dried silicon in general. Best bet would be to use some superglue or aquarium safe epoxy, but both are just temporary fixes until the tank can be replaced or completely drained and repaired.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM